Pennsylvania Perspective for Monday, June 5, 2023

June 5, 2023


FY24 Budget Negotiations in Harrisburg Begin in Earnest 

State legislators on both sides of the aisle are said to be “cautiously optimistic” heading into negotiations for Governor Josh Shapiro’s proposed $44.4 billion FY24 budget — the first budget of his first term in office. If passed as proposed, Pennsylvanians can expect $1 billion in new education spending, an end to transfers of gas tax money to the State Police, and a historic first-ever investment in public defenders. The deadline to pass the budget is June 30. Spotlight PA has more.

Former State Auditor General DePasquale to Run for Attorney General in 2024

Last week, former two-term Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale announced that he would be running for attorney general in 2024, making him the first candidate to enter the race. The Associated Press has more.

Pennsylvania Election Law Advisory Board Debates Merits of Photo ID Mandate

The Pennsylvania Election Law Advisory Board, a bipartisan group of election experts and lawmakers, is split over whether to recommend a photo ID mandate for elections throughout the commonwealth, as well as how best to implement such a mandate if recommended. WITF has more.

How Could Becoming A Hydrogen Hub Impact Other Pennsylvania Climate Issues?

In April, Harrisburg-based nonprofit Team Pennsylvania Foundation submitted an application to make Pennsylvania one of the U.S. Department of Energy’s designated Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs. Now, state lawmakers are looking into ways that these efforts can dovetail with improvements to Pennsylvania’s own energy future. StateImpact Pennsylvania has more.

OSHA Issues Five Citations to Four Pennsylvania Dollar General Stores

Upon the discovery of hazardous working conditions at four Dollar General stores in Adams, Franklin and Dauphin counties, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced the issuance of five citations for violations. The company was designated a “severe violator” in October 2022. PennLive has more.



Waning Voter Turnout in Philadelphia Becomes National Concern for Democrats

Philadelphia’s waning electoral turnout is beginning to worry Democrats at the national level, as the city’s Democratic voters have historically been decisive in many of Pennsylvania’s — and the nation’s — high-stakes elections. The party’s biggest challenge now is to combat voter apathy in the state’s largest city. The Washington Post has more.

As Result of Debt Ceiling Negotiations, SNAP Benefit Eligibility to Change Across Philadelphia Region

As part of the debt ceiling bill that was passed late last week, work requirements will be changing for participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Administrators in Pennsylvania and New Jersey are currently waving these requirements, but changes are likely on the horizon for Philadelphia-area participants. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

How Will the Build Back Better Plan Impact Philadelphia’s Middle Class?

During a visit to Philadelphia last Thursday, national labor leader Sean McGarvey spoke about new opportunities available to unions as part of the Build Back Better plan and their potential to help create a new middle class in Philadelphia. WHYY has more.



Pittsburgh-Based Astrobotic Collaborating With Blue Origin on Lunar Lander

Pittsburgh-based aerospace and robotics company Astrobotic is among the companies working on a project to develop a lunar lander in collaboration with Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin. Astrobotic is developing the cargo accommodation system for the lander, which is expected to transport astronauts to our moon as early as 2029. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has more.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Challenges Workers’ Right to Picket on Company Property

On Thursday, an Allegheny County judge heard arguments regarding the rights of Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s striking workers to picket on company property. The strike has been ongoing for several months now. WESA has more.



President Biden Signs Debt Limit Suspension Bill Into Law

On Saturday, President Joe Biden signed the hotly debated debt limit suspension bill into law. The bill met pushback from certain Pennsylvania legislators, with Representative Summer Lee and Senator John Fetterman voting “no” due to the addition of work requirements for recipients of social safety net programs such as SNAP, while Representative Scott Perry voted “no” citing a need for increased fiscal responsibility.

New “Meet the Press” Moderator Has Philadelphia Roots

On Sunday, longtime “Meet the Press” Moderator Chuck Todd announced that he would be stepping down from the role and passing the proverbial baton to NBC Chief White House Correspondent — and Philadelphian — Kristen Welker. She will be the first Black and second female moderator of the historic roundtable show. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Beltway Briefing: Congress Passes Debt-Ceiling Bill, Averting Default

Public Strategies’ Mark Alderman, Rodney Davis, and Towner French discuss this truly bipartisan success and break down the final tallies for the debt ceiling vote in both chambers. Also, as former Vice President Pence is set to launch his presidential campaign on June 7, they also ponder what impact it will have on the growing 2024 Republican primary. Listen to the latest episode here.


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